- More than half of employers responding to a recent survey said they offered paid floating holidays for "flexibility and inclusivity" — "a perk that allows employees extra time off on a day of their choosing," according to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans' results released December 2.
- Benefits serve as a recruitment and retention tool in addition to providing a financial safety net, according to the study. And almost three-quarters of employers surveyed said they grant vacation or paid time off (PTO) days immediately to new hires to support those efforts to support those efforts.
- "Since 2016, PTO banks have risen 36% in popularity as employers have made the switch from the more traditional vacation/sick time policies to PTO banks," the foundation said in its analysis. The greater majority (90%) of respondents noted bereavement/funeral leave as a type of paid leave provided in 2020, followed by jury duty (86%), personal days (54%) and maternity leave (37%), according to the report. But less than a third of respondents noted paternity leave (34%), adoption leave (27%) or family/caregiving leave (17%) as types of paid leave provided.
The coronavirus pandemic has prompted "several different changes to workplace paid time off," according to the International Foundation's report.
Some employers gave employees the option to roll over more days than usual to 2021 or have decided to pay employees for unused leave time, the survey found. Meanwhile, other employers are focused on time off for mental health, "mandating that employees take time off within certain parameters or are giving additional paid leave to be used for any reason."
Companies with a good mix of benefits and effective support will be better able to manage and recover from the impact of the pandemic, panelists said during the 2020 Disability Management Employer Coalition Virtual Annual Conference Aug. 12. A focus on employee mental well-being and an evaluation of available benefits is necessary whether a company prepares for a return to work or maintains a remote workforce, the experts said.
The holiday season amid a pandemic will be very different, according to the International Foundation: "Employers should take the opportunity to remind employees of the mental health benefits available to them."